Guwahati: The Union Home Ministry on July 16th, 2019 constituted a 13-member high-level committee to implement Clause 6 of 1985 Assam Accord. The committee will be headed by 12 members.
The high-level committee comprising of eminent personalities will be headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma, a former judge of Gauhati High Court.
It may be mentioned that a nine-member panel was set up in January this year for its implementation. However, it was aborted after its fifth member–former Union tourism secretary MP Bezbaruah refused to be part of the panel in wake of the widespread protest against contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
Clause 6 of the historic Assam Accord states: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.
As per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, six more communities will be accorded tribal status.
The panel has been formed to examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and to assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in the Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the indigenous people.
Besides, suggesting measures in order to protect the Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam, the panel will also hold discussions with various stakeholders and constitutional experts, eminent persons from the fields of art, culture and literature, conservationists, economists, linguists and sociologists.
The committee is also resolved to recommend the appropriate level of reservation for Assamese people in employment under the Government of Assam.
As reported by The Assam Tribune, the panel members include Ramesh Borpatragohain, Advocate General, Assam; Niloy Dutta, Advocate General, Arunachal Pradesh; Subhash Das, IAS (retd); Pallav Bhattacharya, IPS (retd); Dr Srishtidhar Dutta, retired professor; Sumanta Chaliha, author and columnist; Dr Jaikanta Sharma, professor and columnist; Wasbir Hussain, senior journalist; Samujjal Bhattacharya, chief adviser, All Assam Students Union (AASU); Dipanka Nath, president, AASU; and Lurinjyoti Gogoi, general secretary, AASU.